Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
A Novel

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Synopsis

Why does Skippy, a fourteen-year-old boy at Dublin's venerable Seabrook College, end up dead on the floor of the local doughnut shop?

Could it have something to do with his friend Ruprecht Van Doren, an overweight genius who is determined to open a portal into a parallel universe using ten-dimensional string theory?

Could it involve Carl, the teenage drug dealer and borderline psychotic who is Skippy's rival in love?

Or could "the Automator"--the ruthless, smooth-talking headmaster intent on modernizing the school--have something to hide?

Why Skippy dies and what happens next is the subject of this dazzling and uproarious novel, unraveling a mystery that links the boys of Seabrook College to their parents and teachers in ways nobody could have imagined. With a cast of characters that ranges from hip-hop-loving fourteen-year-old Eoin "MC Sexecutioner" Flynn to basketballplaying midget Philip Kilfether, packed with questions and answers on everything from Ritalin, to M-theory, to bungee jumping, to the hidden meaning of the poetry of Robert Frost, Skippy Dies is a heartfelt, hilarious portrait of the pain, joy, and occasional beauty of adolescence, and a tragic depiction of a world always happy to sacrifice its weakest members. As the twenty-first century enters its teenage years, this is a breathtaking novel from a young writer who will come to define his generation.

 

About Paul Murray

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PAUL MURRAY was born in 1975. He studied English literature it Trinity College, Dublin, and took a master's degree in creative writing at the University of East Anglia. A former bookseller, Murray lives in Dublin. An Evening of Long Goodbyes, his first novel, was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize, and earned Murray a nomination for the Kerry Irish Fiction Award.From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published August 31, 2010 by Faber & Faber. 672 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Skippy Dies

Kirkus Reviews

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Out in the hall, after all, there are thugs and drugs, kids steeped in Vietnam films and antinomianism, other kids lost in their own dismal worlds.

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The New York Times

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And novels about them — if they’re as smart and funny and touching as “Skippy Dies” — can be just as long as they like.

Sep 03 2010 | Read Full Review of Skippy Dies: A Novel

The Guardian

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During "the Day of Thirteen Raids", when the Luftwaffe repeatedly bomb the city, Fausto witnesses the Bad Priest trapped under a beam: stripped and tortured by local children, the priest is revealed to be a woman — none other than the final incarnation of V, the mysterious, shape-shifting, demoni...

Mar 17 2010 | Read Full Review of Skippy Dies: A Novel

The Guardian

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In winter months, from his seat in the middle desk of the middle row, Howard used to look out the window of the History Room and watch the whole school go up in flames.

Aug 06 2010 | Read Full Review of Skippy Dies: A Novel

The Guardian

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Here is a world in which everyone, including your friends – in fact, especially your friends – is a gay and/or a spasmo and their mum a slag.

Feb 28 2010 | Read Full Review of Skippy Dies: A Novel

The Guardian

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The arrival of Skippy Dies is wonderful news on several fronts.

Feb 06 2010 | Read Full Review of Skippy Dies: A Novel

Examiner

Skippy Dies, by Paul Murray, is a funny and tragic novel that begins with the death of Daniel “Skippy” Juster, who collapses at the local doughnut shop.

Jul 12 2011 | Read Full Review of Skippy Dies: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

First off, the title of Skippy Dies should come with a spoiler alert, because Skippy does in fact die.

Aug 25 2010 | Read Full Review of Skippy Dies: A Novel

The Washington Post

These boys are brilliant enough to debate whether string theory explains why they can't get girls, or whether one could shag a mermaid, but they go dumb when a frustrated teacher pleads for one of them to name a single major combatant from World War I.

Aug 31 2010 | Read Full Review of Skippy Dies: A Novel

The Telegraph

Skippy Dies by Paul Murray It is actually more of a magnetic monster: the students are drawn back to it – most of the staff are old boys, as are most of the parents.

Mar 09 2010 | Read Full Review of Skippy Dies: A Novel

The Bookbag

Summary: Life and death in and around an Irish private school, in this all-encompassing brick of a novel, which does resolve into an enjoyable plot.

Nov 28 2012 | Read Full Review of Skippy Dies: A Novel

Dallas News

Seven years after his critically acclaimed debut, Irish writer Paul Murray is back with his second novel, Skippy Dies.

Sep 19 2010 | Read Full Review of Skippy Dies: A Novel

San Francisco Chronicle

Skippy and Ruprecht spend their classes and leisure time with a small coterie of friends, including sexual braggart Mario - still carrying an unused "lucky" condom in his wallet after two years - and sharp-tongued Dennis, who sees himself as above everyone else's foolishness.

Dec 15 2010 | Read Full Review of Skippy Dies: A Novel

About.com

But even more so, Skippy Dies is about the unseen connections between people—that even in our most complicated, troubled moments we’re never actually alone.

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MostlyFiction Book Reviews

Skippy Dies is set in an Ireland where the “past is considered dead weight—at best something to reel in tourists, at worst an embarrassment, an albatross, a raving, incontinent old relative that refuses to die.” It is in this Ireland that the boys of Seabrook College, the primary characters in t...

Nov 23 2010 | Read Full Review of Skippy Dies: A Novel

Bookmarks Magazine

Irish novelist Paul Murray's first novel, An Evening of Long Goodbyes (4 of 5 Stars Nov/Dec 2004), was short-listed for the Whitbread Prize.

Sep 01 2010 | Read Full Review of Skippy Dies: A Novel

Chamber Four

Skippy Dies bores right to the core of its many characters, all of whom live, work, or learn at Seabrook College, a Catholic boarding school for boys outside of Dublin.

Mar 23 2011 | Read Full Review of Skippy Dies: A Novel

The New Yorker

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Sep 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Skippy Dies: A Novel

Curious Book Fans

Father Green takes sadistic pleasure in reducing his pupils to tears, Skippy Dies is a very accessible yet expansive read and one of the more satisfying novels I have read in recent times.

Dec 06 2010 | Read Full Review of Skippy Dies: A Novel

Book Forum

These are a few typical characters from Paul Murray's Skippy Dies, a sprawling homage to adolescence, string theory, roofies, wet knickers, and unrequited love.

Sep 13 2010 | Read Full Review of Skippy Dies: A Novel

Metro

Murray dazzles with a complex mix of themes – physics, Irish faerie tales and modern Ireland’s shopaholic materialism, and that’s not even the half of it – and pretty much every line drips ideas for fun.

Feb 10 2010 | Read Full Review of Skippy Dies: A Novel

Publishing Perspective

As might be guessed from its title, one of the primary characters (14-year-old Skippy) dies within this novel’s first few pages.

Mar 09 2011 | Read Full Review of Skippy Dies: A Novel

The Paris Review

It covers all the books I'm interested in, and it interests me in all the books it covers.

Sep 01 2010 | Read Full Review of Skippy Dies: A Novel

The Paris Review

I went to quite an illustrious school in Ireland called Blackrock College, and Seabrook College, the school in the book, physically resembles the school that I went to.

Mar 12 2013 | Read Full Review of Skippy Dies: A Novel

The Paris Review

Then, when the boom came, they stopped having child-oriented windows and started having these really nasty Helmut Lang soft-cyber-porn-type windows with a bunch of emaciated blue mannequins wearing just a giant watch and staring bleakly out of the windows.

Dec 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Skippy Dies: A Novel

The Paris Review

I went to quite an illustrious school in Ireland called Blackrock College, and Seabrook College, the school in the book, physically resembles the school that I went to.

Oct 21 2010 | Read Full Review of Skippy Dies: A Novel

The Kenyon Review

I’ve made a… Continue reading → Dog-eared De-dreamification As I’m writing this, my partner is reading in a chair nearby and underlining with such ferocity that it sounds more like he’s coloring entire pages black rather than marking single sentences or key passages.

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Reader Rating for Skippy Dies
73%

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